Department of Finance speaks on Public Finance Act

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Department of Finance speaks on Public Finance Act

(GIS) – The Parastatal Monitoring Department recently held a consultation with members of the department and other stakeholders regarding the Public Finance Management Act.

The Public Finance Management Act is legislation which is being initiated by the Ministry of Finance. Due to its wide-reaching effects throughout the public sector, the legislation will have implications for the day-to-day workings of the Parastatal Monitoring Department as well as other sectors.

Ms Juliana Alfred, Permanent Secretary of the Parastatal Monitoring Department, said the consultation was necessary so that all sectors are aware of how their sector will be affected.

“The Public Finance Act is supposed to provide guidance for public finance management and it outlines the functions and powers of all relevant officers in relation to the preparation approval of estimates including the oversight of statutory co-operation,” she said. “The Public Management Financing Act has made provisions for statutory bodies in particular Part 12, Section 61 – 69. These are the sections relevant to the statutory sector. In these sections some of the following are detailed: responsibilities of statutory bodies, institutional arrangements, accounts and audits, financial management, dividend policy, borrowing, lending and guarantees. There is also contingent liability which is very important. This act is at a very advanced stage, it is an initiative led by the Ministry of Finance, and we at the Parastatal Monitoring Department felt that because it had implications for the sector, that the sector had to be made aware of what was in the document and what it meant for them.”

Consultant and facilitator of the mornings proceedings, Mr Sushas Joshi, enlightened those in attendance to the different ways in which the legislation would have a direct impact on the sector.

“The idea is to look at the role of the parastatals in Saint Lucia in the overall context of the economy,” Mr. Joshi said. “What is the role that you play and how important that role is. And also understand and appreciate that the purpose of the bill is not to make your life difficult, it is to improve the fiscal discipline in the country.”

The consultation took place on March 16, at the Finance Administrative Centre.

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